Thursday, June 13, 2019

Snabba Pax

I was on The Projection Booth podcast again - this time talking with Mike White and Rob St. Mary about Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall. Man, it's quite a feat to make a picture that is at once distinctly a Verhoeven joint, a perfect Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle and an entirely recognizable Philip K. Dick premise.

This movie rocks. Especially because it gave me the 'homework' excuse to watch an otherwise unlikely combination of materials.

And on the latest episode of Do Some Damage I'm recommending a trio of trilogies that make a good case for crime franchises having short, potent runs. Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher trilogy take place in the same Copenhagen underworld and a couple of characters make return appearances, but each film stands alone and distinct from the others and I honestly can't decide which is my favorite. They all fucking rule. (First two are available for free on Tubi and all three are available to rent on other streaming platforms).

The Easy Money saga were made in quick succession and based on the Stockholm noir novels of Jens Lapidus. Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Babak Najafi and Jens Jonsson the films hold a consistent tone and weave a bloody, desperate tapestry out of tragically intersecting characters and story lines. This is the good shit. (The first is available to rent, Hard to Kill and Life Deluxe are free on Prime).

And the Red Riding trilogy from producer Michael Winterbottom were based on the novels (a quartet, rather than a trilogy) by David Peace and released more or less simultaneously (at least in the U.S.) allowing audiences to experience the whole depressing tale of the direct and collateral damage done by a serial murderer of children in England in the 70s and 80s. Grim, riveting, heartbreaking stuff directed by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. Fuck me, I watched all three in a night and it just about did me in. And I think I'll do it again. All three films are available now on Hulu.

Speaking of the Red Riding books James Ellroy gave Peace a chance and discussed the books (as well as Don Winslow's Border trilogy) with Adrian McKinty who interviewed the Demon Dog on the occasion of the release of This Storm (book two in the new L.A. Quartet!) for Crimereads this week. Brand new books by all three gents (The Border by Winslow, The Chain by McKinty) will almost certainly be read by me soonish.

I'm a big fan of Ridley Scott's maligned masterpiece The Counselor writ by Cormac McCarthy starring Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz, Brad Pitt, Rosie Perez and Michael Fassbender as the titular douche who thinks he can get away with it. It made my year end picks when it came out in 2014, but was one of the most critically reviled films of the year. This piece at Cinephelia & Beyond by Tim Pelan is a pretty terrific read. Tim's another new discovery for me for thought-provoking and insightful deep dives on a bunch of my favorite film stuffs. Check him out.

No comments: